And as they do, they give us insights not only into one specific, brilliantly created, woman but into some of the problems of surviving in a society where very few people are fully liberated. Roger Ebert, at the time, wrote of Nick, “He’s as crazy as she is, maybe more so.” O.G. Perhaps technically correct, that is not the drama here. One of the things we can ask of an artist is that he leave some record of how it was for him, how he saw things, how he coped. If I knew anything about men and women to begin with, I wouldn’t make it, because it would bore me. … I just want you to be yourself. She does not communicate effectively nor speak flawlessly. Mabel Longhetti is the equivalent of Raymond Babbitt in “Rain Man,” wrongly confused by viewers as the protagonist. Sure, this type of turmoil will flare up again. Of course, Mabel’s problems run deeper. John Huston. Cliff Carnell as Immediately after that scene, Nick and Mabel sit on opposite ends of the table. “Not only this country, but all those French guys, the New Wave guys. Physical distance = emotional distance. But what about him? We also see moments of lost focus throughout the film, partly because they were beginners, partly because it was intentional. Cassavetes turned the play into a screenplay for the big screen, but A Woman Under the Influence was too much for Hollywood studios and producers to swallow. They all were smitten with John. Like Proust before him, Cassavetes rode the whims, upsets, vagaries, and mysterious impulses of humanity like a champion surfer. There also are scenes of great quiet comedy, as when one of Nick’s coworkers somehow dumps his entire plate of spaghetti into his lap and the others battle between decorous table manners and the desire to laugh. But the father, when he takes over the responsibility of raising them, yanks them out of school in the middle of the day and drags them, bewildered, to the seashore for the most depressing, compulsory day at the beach we can imagine. So don’t say she’s crazy. It requires one of the greatest of sacrifices, hope. Later we see her guzzling whiskey in a bar, and spending the night with a guy she can’t get rid of. He uses them to make us feel uncomfortable at the breakfast scene, as Mabel literally leans over a guy’s shoulder and stares into his mouth. He is accustomed to a quirky wife. John Hawker as CITE F: George Mortensen ♦ Itself out of place, this shot invites us into a world of things out of place, like a bed in a dining room. Directed by John Cassavetes. The movie’s reality makes it much more provocative and though inducing whereas a more traditional studio film would not leave as much of a response. It’s unthinkable he wasn’t nominated. She has been committed for six months and received electroshock therapy. She’s unusual. Nancy ♦ Mabel herself is a study in the inappropriate and her hands are a repository of all her improprieties. You felt anything could happen at any time because he wasn’t playing by any known set of rules, except the one that says there are no rules. He is affected by pressure, more than his wife, inspiring wariness and pity from his workers. Do they love Nick, or fear him? It’s always risky when it’s original… It’s a very dangerous territory to be in where you can only make a film if your grosses reflect a large gross. His bosses call when a problem happens after quitting time. Nora Sayre, in the New York Times, wrote that Cassevetes “perhaps unintentionally ... has made the man appear much crazier than his wife.” Her husband and father are skeptical but cheery, until her husband will tear into her father for his hollowness. Yes. These are hardly the only batch of spectacular sidewalk scenes of L.A. of the early ’70s. John Cassavetes is one of the few modern directors whose shots, scenes, dialogue and characters all instantly identify their creator; watch even a few seconds of a Cassavetes film, and you know whose it is, as certainly as with Hitchcock or Fellini. Billy Wilder. Joseph Morton ♦ “I can be anything.”. It’s as if their careers and personal lives were one and the same. John Cassavetes’ “A Woman Under the Influence” gives us a woman whose influences only gradually reveal themselves.

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